The article below was sent to administrators in our school division this morning. I found it to very helpful as a new week begins. Enjoy!
Michael Kennedy, after 38 years of teaching in Vermont and Minnesota, has recently decided to retire from classroom teaching. In an article in the Star Tribune, he has listed a bucket list of 10 items that should be the center of every school system:
1. Passion: Everyone should feel passionate about what they are doing in the schools. Nothing else matters if the passion isn’t there.
2. Imagination: This one scares people, but it’s absolutely essential. Get messy, take risks and go out on a limb.
3. Music, dance, drama and art in every school: This is like breathing. Without it you have nothing.
4. Everybody reads and reads and reads and reads: Turn off the television, pull the earplugs out and get a good book.
5. Write a lot: Not one paper a year or a semester, but dozens.
6. Debate with one another: Get kids arguing, learning how to defend a position and how to respect an opponent. Do the same for the adults, too.
7. Have some manners: If adults and kids can’t be kind and caring to each other, they should leave, and I don’t mean for a day. Get out until you know how to say “please” and “thank you.”
8. Don’t show up if you’re not prepared to work: Be present beyond simply occupying a desk. This goes for the adults as well.
9. When you do show up, show up on time: This goes along with item No. 8. If you can’t be there and be on time, don’t come.
10. Don’t fear failure: Get a thicker skin. We all learn best by messing it all up.
Michael Kennedy’s article can be found at http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/157064085.html .